Getting Crafty: Feeling at home at S & S Farm Brewery
Anyone who’s ever experienced the adrenaline-fueled, scatter-brained, wild ride of watching one of the nine (nine!) different Fast and Furious movies knows two things.
First, these movies are absolutely bonkers. This franchise started with a group of highway bandits stealing combination TV/DVD players back in 2001, and in the 8 movies since, they’ve literally saved the world from global superterrorists multiple times. They’ve even been to space at this point. Honestly, the whole thing kind of makes me feel like we gave Fonzie a bad rep for jumping that shark. (Also, if you can’t tell, I cannot WAIT for Fast X this summer. See you at the theater.)
And second—well, Dominic Toretto says it best: family.
A few weeks ago, I went over to hang out at the S & S Farm Brewery for the evening. We drank some beer, chatted a bit, and had an all-around great time. Over the course of that night, I realized that the S & S Farm Brewery has more in common with the Torettos than one might have previously expected. And no, it’s not because they frequently drive souped-up muscle cars through exploding buildings while saving the world and being chased by Jason Statham. (Although thinking back, they never explicitly said they don’t do that.) It’s because, like in the Fast and Furious movies, it quickly becomes clear just how important family is to the S and S Brewery team.
A bit of backstory: the S & S Farm Brewery is part of a 6th generation family farm. The family is no stranger to adapting their use of the land to keep the farm thriving. Throughout the generations, the farm evolved from a homestead into a regional dairy supplier. Transitioning from cows to beer was just the next step. Matt and Shaina are the current owners of the brewery and were the ones showing me around that evening. Still, as we conducted our tour, other members of the family continued to pop in and out, attending to the various facets of the farm and chatting for a bit. The whole experience was free-form, intimate, and honestly one of the most unique and delightful brewery tours I’ve ever been on.
It’s no surprise that, with family baked so deeply into the story of the brewery, Matt and Shaina make a concerted effort to keep their brewery welcoming to folks of all ages. From booking family-friendly music and entertainment to putting on family events and fostering a strong sense of local community, family comes first in most things the S & S Farm Brewery chooses to do. They’re actually kicking off their spring this Saturday with a St. Patrick’s Day celebration featuring music, games, limited-edition St. Patrick’s Day beer, and more—all family-friendly, of course!
Speaking of beer, I’ve somehow made it 500 words into a brewery feature without mentioning their beer once. Let’s set that right.
S & S keeps a wide variety of beer styles on tap at any given point. Matt and Dan (their head brewer, who stopped by for a chat after the brewery tour) made it clear that they want to keep something for everyone on their tap list. While we hung out that evening, I tried eight of their beers and loved every single one. For the sake of brevity, though, here are four of my standout picks from across the beer-style spectrum:
Hayfield Blonde: A classic blonde—golden-colored with clean, bright, straightforward flavor and aroma. This beer is like the reliable best friend in a sitcom: it’s not breaking any molds, but it doesn’t really need to. We all love it regardless.
Silo Chute #13: A delicious NEIPA, the Silo Chute is something of a Dread Pirate Roberts of beer. Matt and Dan brew it a little bit differently every time, so it’s never quite the same. This was a re-brew of the recipe from batch #13, which they both identified as one of their favorite iterations. I totally see why—it leans into the grassy notes of the hops, with a really pleasant, clean aroma and a mild malt sweetness to round things out. I could drink this all day long.
Farmhouse: This beer would be perfect for anyone who wants to dip their toe into farmhouse ales without immediately being punched in the nose with all those ‘horse blanket’ and ‘barnyard’ aroma notes. It’s got the funky backbone of a farmhouse ale, but it’s very approachable and balanced. Expect notes of banana and dried fruit, with just enough sweetness to make it feel substantial but not so much that it’s tough to drink.
Temptress: The Temptress is a stout brewed with raspberries and chocolate. I’m generally skeptical of adjunct stouts, but honestly, this beer cranked. The tartness of the raspberries blended perfectly with the acidity of chocolate and dark malts, but the beer, on the whole, wasn’t sour—it was perfectly balanced with sweetness from the malt and berries and just a touch of bitterness to round the whole thing out.
One final note on their different beers: with the exception of a couple of local favorites like the Blonde, they rotate their tap list pretty often to keep their beer new and exciting. The breadth of styles and frequency of tap rotation means that, whether you’re the kind of beer drinker that likes having a glass of something familiar every time you go, or you’re always looking for a different flavor to savor, S & S will have something for you. It also means that, aside from the Blonde, they might not have any of the above beers on tap by the time you make a visit. I promise whatever they have available then will still kick serious butt.
To wrap things up, S & S is an all-around awesome brewery. The folks are nice, the vibes are great, and the beer is delicious. It was a pleasure to chat with Matt and Shaina, and everyone else who stopped in over the course of the evening. Honestly, my entire night at S & S felt less like an interview and more like a group of people invited me into their home to share some beer and a good time. The only problem with the whole visit was that they kept telling me how good the views were from their taproom, but I didn’t get there until dark, so I couldn’t see anything. I guess I’ll just have to go back sometime—hopefully, I’ll see you there!